Vietnam is becoming more popular with foreigners from all over the world. The country has experienced a big tourism boom in the latest years and the numbers are only increasing. This means that places that used to be hidden, are being discovered. Not that it’s anything bad with it, quite the contrary. The economy is going up because of an increase in tourism, there are more job opportunities and people get to see what Vietnam has to offer. But of course, like any traveler in this world, there is always the desire to venture off and see places that “no one has seen before”. So here are my top five places that I love in Vietnam that is a bit “off the beaten path”. Note that it’s difficult these days to find a place that has no tourists, but there are some places that are a bit off the beaten track.
1. Hai Phong
This industrial city has still not gained a lot of tourism. But it doesn’t mean that the city doesn’t have a lot of things to offer. First of all, it’s a great stop if you are heading to Halong bay and Cat Ba islands. Many people say that the city reminds them of how Hanoi used to be, before mass tourism hit the city. You will find locals sitting outside, eating a bowl of warm pho, selling goods and playing chess. Hai Phong is a city you go to if you want a calmer city where you can immerse yourself in the Vietnamese way of living. Go here to see a different side of northern Vietnam before you head to the popular Halong bay. It is well worth the visit.
2. Ninh Binh
Although it is becoming a popular destination, it is still one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. Mass tourism has still not hit Ninh Binh, so it’s a good time to see it. Go here for beautiful landscapes and make your way through the rice fields with a motorbike. The lifestyle here is more calm and serene, so if you want to go to a place with a quicker pace, this might not be something for you. But if you want to explore Vietnam’s countryside, this is a perfect place to do it.
3. Ha Giang
Another place that will quickly become popular, but that is still being “discovered” by tourists. This place has been called “the most beautiful place in the north of Vietnam”, due to its majestic rice terraces, mountains and the ethnic villages. If you are a big fan of nature and landscapes, and you like to go to remote places, then this is perfect for you. It is best to visit with a motorbike, but there are also options to go with public transportation.
4. Mai Chau
Just like Ha Giang, you will find landscapes that will take your breath away and get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet ethnic locals. It’s often overlooked by tourists, but has a lot to offer for the person who longs for authenticity and a chance to see something different. Although the people have a quiet lifestyle here, you won’t find yourself bored. There’s plenty of opportunities to hike, trek and cycle through the villages.
Every place has something unique to offer, something new for tourists (and the locals!). Every person has different experiences of places and sights. That’s the beauty of traveling and discovering new places. You will never know what will happen.